Friday, 29 March 2019

Leading us out of this mess

My niece is currently staying with us while she does a PGCE. It's very hard work (probably the hardest thing *I* ever had to do) but she is enjoying it most of the time, bouncing down to breakfast today for her last day on her current placement but excited that she now knows which school she will be at for her final teaching practice.

While I have largely stopped watching the news for the last couple of years, you would think that, having a trainee teacher in the house, I would be aware of news in the field of education at the very least. Yet I have no idea who the Education Secretary is at the moment. Drowned out perhaps by all the other drama in the political world.

I do however remember the name of Michael Gove. In a pretty dire shower of Education Ministers while I was teaching full time, he was one of the direst. I base this assessment not just on my own recollection of his imposition of new schemes without bothering to test them out first, but also on an almost unanimous vote of no confidence in him in 2013, from the NAHT, the NUT, the NASUWT and the ATL, the NAHT accusing him of creating a climate of fear, bullying and intimidation.

I am therefore less than heartened by a rumour that Gove could become the next leader of the Tory party, and thus the next Prime Minister. I'm not impressed by Theresa May's offer to stand down as party leader if her party will vote in favour of her deal - it smacks of party before country, and echoes Cameron's abject flight after losing the referendum. Gove would just be adding insult to injury - though to be fair, I'm not sure that Johnson or Rees-Mogg would be any better (doubtless they would disagree).

On a lighter note, therefore, a brief word on the importance of putting punctuation in the correct place; which is more appropriate - "there's a maypole dancer" or "Theresa May - pole dancer"? Apologies for the image you now have in your mind....

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